United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-344 - Salem 1 & 2 (PSEG Nuclear, LLC)

December 11, 1996

EA 96-344

Mr. Leon R. Eliason
Chief Nuclear Officer and President
Nuclear Business Unit
Public Service Electric and Gas Company
Post Office Box 236
Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey 08038

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL
          PENALTIES - $100,000
          (NRC Inspection Reports No. 50-272/96-14, 50-311/96-14 and 50-354/96-08)

Dear Mr. Eliason:

This letter refers to the NRC inspections conducted at the Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations between August 15-September 3, 1996. Four apparent violations were discussed with you at an exit meeting in the Region I office on September 3, 1996. Two additional apparent violations were identified subsequent to the September 3, 1996 exit meeting and were discussed in a telephone conversation with your staff on September 25, 1996. The inspection report was sent to you on September 30, 1996. On November 14, 1996, a predecisional enforcement conference was conducted with you and members of your staff to discuss the apparent violations identified during the inspection, their causes, and your corrective actions.

Based on our review of the inspection findings, and information provided during the conference, six violations are being cited and are described in the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties (Notice). Three of the violations relate to two specific events which occurred involving the failure to control access to the facility. One event involved a security force member taping a photobadge keycard area door lock, due to problems with the lock, thereby allowing any individual who had gone through the search process the opportunity to obtain a photobadge keycard and use it to access the protected area. This failure to control photobadge key cards for entry into the protected area, which constitutes the first violation, could have allowed unauthorized access to the protected area.

This violation, which is set forth in Section I.A. of the enclosed Notice, was identified when an NRC inspector observed that the locking mechanism on the door to that specific photobadge issue area had been taped over rendering the lock inoperable. At the time the lock was observed as inoperable by the inspector, the area was not occupied by security force personnel (SFP), and no compensatory measures were in place for this degradation.

You subsequently took immediate action to remove the tape, restore the lock to an operable condition, and verify that this degradation had not resulted in an unauthorized entry into the protected or vital areas of the facilities. Nonetheless, this condition created an opportunity for unauthorized individuals to gain access to the protected and vital areas, and, as such, represented a significant degradation of the security program at the facility. Therefore, the violation has been categorized at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

The second event involved a contractor individual accessing the protected area without a pat-down search, as required, after the individual had, on three occasions, alarmed two separate metal detectors at the access control point. In addition, your staff's initial followup after the second event was poor. In this case, although the contractor employee was allegedly told by security force personnel to stand aside and await a hands-on search to determine the cause of the alarms, the contractor employee went to the badge issue area, was issued a photo badge/key card, and entered the protected area without being detained by security force personnel, contrary to NRC requirements. This violation is described in Section I.B.1 of the Notice. Subsequently, although a security supervisor initiated actions to identify the contractor individual once notified of the event, the security supervisor did not notify the Senior Nuclear Shift Supervisor onsite, which was required since the contractor individual should have been considered an intruder. Your NRC-approved Security Contingency Plan requires such notification whenever there is an intruder at the facility. This violation is described in Section I.B.2 of the Notice. The contractor individual was not identified by the officers performing the search function until 50 minutes after his entry.

Although appropriate searches were conducted once the contractor was located, including searches of the individual, his locker, and his whereabouts while uncontrolled in the protected area, the NRC is concerned that the control room was not notified, as required, of the potential security threat that existed, and the contractor's badge/key card was not deactivated during that time, which would have precluded him from entering any vital areas. In addition, the contractor was not paged on the plant paging system, once he was identified, to expedite locating him. These failures also constitute a significant regulatory concern regarding your regard for control of access to the facilities, and therefore, the two violations are categorized in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

These three violations of fundamental access control requirements at nuclear power plants represent a significant degradation in the security program at the facility, that during the prior SALP, had been recognized as a strength at the facility. At the enforcement conference, you acknowledged problems in the work culture at the facility, and also noted that deficiencies in procedural adequacy, procedural adherence, job skills, and management oversight contributed to these violations. It is important that these causes are fully corrected to ensure that only authorized individuals are granted entry to protected and vital areas.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem or violation. Your facilities have been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last 2 years. For example, Severity Level III violations and cumulative civil penalties in the amount of $600,000 were issued on October 16, 1995 for, in part, several instances of the failure to identify and correct conditions adverse to quality at Salem (Reference: EAs 95-62/95-65/95-117). In addition to these Salem violations, a Severity Level III violation and a civil penalty in the amount of $100,000 was issued to your Hope Creek facility on August 24, 1995, for inadequacies in shutdown cooling system operations. Therefore, the NRC considered, for each Severity Level III violation and problem, whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy.

With respect to the violation in Section I.A., credit is not warranted for Identification because the violation was identified by the NRC. Credit is warranted for Corrective Action because at the time of the enforcement conference, your actions were considered both prompt and comprehensive. These actions, which were discussed during your presentation at the conference, include, but are not limited to the following: (1) replacement of security management; (2) reestablishing expectations and direction in the security department; (3) ensuring management involvement in the program; and (4) upgrading the training of security personnel.

As to the problem in Section I.B, credit is not warranted for Identification because the violation was self-revealing when security personnel could not locate the individual, and then failed to notify the control room as required. Credit is warranted for Corrective Action because at the time of the enforcement conference, your actions, as already described, were considered both prompt and comprehensive.

Accordingly, to encourage prompt identification and correction of violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to propose a separate civil penalty of $50,000 for each of the Severity Level III violations and problems in Sections I and II of the enclosed Notice. The total civil penalties proposed for this action is $100,000.

The three other violations identified during the inspection are described in Section II of the enclosed Notice and are classified at Severity Level IV. Those violations involve (1) the failure to deactivate photo badge key cards for individuals who no longer required site access after being terminated; (2) the failure to complete training for security supervisors prior to assigning them to perform supervisory duties; and (3) the failure to test an intrusion detection system in accordance with procedures.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. In your response, you should document the specific actions taken and any additional actions you plan to prevent recurrence. After reviewing your response to this Notice, including your proposed corrective actions and the results of future inspections, the NRC will determine whether further NRC enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with NRC regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). To the extent possible, your response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR. If redactions are required, a proprietary version containing brackets placed around the proprietary, privacy, and/or safeguards information should be submitted. In addition, a non-proprietary version with the information in the brackets redacted should be submitted to be placed in the PDR.

                            Sincerely,

                            ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:

                            Hubert J. Miller
                            Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 50-272, 50-311, 50-354
License Nos. DPR-70, DPR-75, NPF-57

Enclosure: Notice of Violation and Proposed
Imposition of Civil Penalties

cc w/encl:
L. Storz, Senior Vice President - Nuclear Operations
E. Simpson, Senior Vice President - Nuclear Engineering
E. Salowitz, Director - Nuclear Business Support
C. Schaefer, External Operations - Nuclear, Delmarva Power & Light Co.
D. Garchow, General Manager - Salem Operations
M. Bezilla, General Manager - Hope Creek Operations
J. Benjamin, Director - Quality Assurance & Nuclear Safety Review
D. Powell, Manager, Licensing and Regulation
R. Kankus, Joint Owner Affairs
A. Tapert, Program Administrator
R. Fryling, Jr., Esquire
M. Wetterhahn, Esquire
P. MacFarland Goelz, Manager, Joint Generation Atlantic Electric
Consumer Advocate, Office of Consumer Advocate
W. Conklin, Public Safety Consultant, Lower Alloways Creek Township
Public Service Commission of Maryland
State of New Jersey
State of Delaware


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES
Public Service Electric and Gas Company       Docket Nos. 50-272, 50-311, 50-354
Salem Nuclear Generation Station              License Nos. DPR-70, DPR-75, NPF-57
Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station         EA 96-344

During an NRC inspection conducted between August 15-September 3, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposes to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violations and associated civil penalties are set forth below:

I. VIOLATIONS ASSESSED A CIVIL PENALTY

A. License Condition 2.E of License Number NPF-57 for the Hope Creek facility, and License Conditions 2.E of License Numbers DPR-70 and DPR-75 for Salem, require that PSE&G fully implement and maintain in effect all provisions of the physical security, guard training and qualification, and safeguards contingency plans approved by the Commission and all amendments and revisions to such plans made pursuant to the authority of 10 CFR 50.90 and 10 CFR 50.54(p).

The Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) Salem - Hope Creek Security Plan, Revision 7, dated June 21, 1996, states, in Section 5.6, "Access Control to Vital Areas" that "Vital area access is physically controlled by the photobadge-keycard system which permits access into specific areas to persons designated on the current access list contained in the system computers. Positive access control is accomplished by [Security Force Personnel] (SFP) prior to issuance of the photobadge-keycard. Persons are positively identified by requiring them to request the badge by number, and visually, by comparing the picture to the person before issuing the keycard."

Contrary to the above, on August 14, 1996, vital area access was not physically controlled in that positive access control over photobadge keycards was compromised, thereby creating the opportunity for unauthorized access to the vital areas. Specifically, on that date, an NRC inspector identified that the lock mechanism on a door to one of the badge issue stations had been taped over, rendering the lock incapable of performing its locking function, and at the time, the badges were left unattended in the issue station, and no compensatory measures were in place for the inoperative lock to preclude an unauthorized individual from gaining access to the badges and the protected and vital areas. (01013)

This is a Severity Level III Violation (Supplement III).
Civil Penalty - $50,000.

B. License Condition 2.E of License Number NPF-57 for the Hope Creek facility, and License Conditions 2.E of License Numbers DPR-70 and DPR-75 for Salem, require that PSE&G fully implement and maintain in effect all provisions of the physical security, guard training and qualification, and safeguards contingency plans approved by the Commission and all amendments and revisions to such plans made pursuant to the authority of 10 CFR 50.90 and 10 CFR 50.54(p).

1. The PSE&G Salem - Hope Creek Security Plan, Revision 7, dated June 21, 1996, states, in Section 4.2.1.4, "Personnel Search and Access Control," that "Searches at the guardhouses are performed by locally alarming portal or hand-held metal and explosives detectors. When there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person is attempting to introduce firearms, explosives, incendiary devices or other unauthorized material into the protected area, the person is given a physical pat-down search. When the metal and/or explosives detectors are not in service and operating in accordance with equipment test standards, physical pat-down searches are performed."

Contrary to the above, on August 26, 1996, a contractor employee entering the protected area caused two portal metal detectors to alarm on three different attempts to pass through them, and although these alarms provided reasonable cause to suspect that the contractor was attempting to introduce firearms, explosives, incendiary devices or other unauthorized material into the protected area, no physical pat-down search was performed, and the contractor was given his photobadge-keycard and entered the protected area. (02013)

2. The PSE&G Salem - Hope Creek Security Contingency Plan, Revision 4, dated February 12, 1996, states, in part, in Section 8.1.3.2, that it will be assumed that a security threat exists until it is known otherwise. Section 8.1.4 of the Contingency Plan defines an intruder as a person present in a protected or vital area without authorization. Section 8.3.2.6 of the Contingency Plan states that in the event of discovery of intruders or attack, notify the Senior Nuclear Shift Supervisor (SNSS) of implementation of Contingency Event 6 (Discovery of Intruders), provide a concise situation report, and request SNSS to classify the event per the Event Classification Guide in Section 16.

Contrary to the above, on August 26, 1996, a contractor who had alarmed the two portal metal detectors on three occasions, entered the protected area without receiving a pat-down search, was not authorized to enter the protected area without having received a search, and, therefore, should have been assumed to be an intruder and security threat until it was known otherwise; however, the SNSS was not notified of the threat, and the event was not classified per Event Classification Guide 16. (02023)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement III).
Civil Penalty - $50,000.

II. VIOLATIONS NOT ASSESSED A CIVIL PENALTY

A. License Condition 2.E of License Number NPF-57 for the Hope Creek facility, and License Conditions 2.E of License Numbers DPR-70 and DPR-75 for Salem, require that PSE&G fully implement and maintain in effect all provisions of the physical security, guard training and qualification, and safeguards contingency plans approved by the Commission and all amendments and revisions to such plans made pursuant to the authority of 10 CFR 50.90 and 10 CFR 50.54(p).

1. The PSE&G Salem - Hope Creek Security Plan, Revision 7, dated June 19, 1996, states, in part, in the Introduction Section that the implementing documents of this plan are the Security Plan Procedures and Post Orders. Security Plan Procedure 4, Revision 3, dated November 1, 1994, states, in Section 4.13, that when a person granted unescorted access terminates employment or no longer requires access to the site Protected Area, the cognizant department shall notify the Screening Supervisor within two working days, and the Screening Supervisor ensures that the administrative actions required to inactivate the security photobadge and personnel access clearance are accomplished.

Contrary to the above, the Screening Supervisor was not notified within two working days that 12 employees had been terminated in June and July 1996. Specifically, notification of five employees that were terminated in June 1996 was not made until the 31-day revalidation list was issued in July 1996, and notification of seven employees that were terminated in July 1996 was not made until the 31-day revalidation list was issued in August 1996. (03014)

This is a Severity Level IV Violation (Supplement III).

2. The PSE&G Salem - Hope Creek Security Training and Qualification Plan, Revision 3, dated February 12, 1996, Section 3.3, states, in part that, the qualification matrix identifies the courses of instruction by job classification, which each person shall pass in order to qualify for performance of related security duties. Section 3.8, titled, Supervisory Training, states that supervisors are required to qualify in all security force tasks.

Critical Security Task No. 5, titled, "Conduct Patrols," states, in Element 05-A, that the examinee will demonstrate knowledge of the site by responding correctly to the location of several protected and vital area alarms.

Contrary to the above, on August 20, 1996, the inspectors determined by a review of training records and shift activity logs, that two supervisory personnel were performing Field Operations Supervisor duties prior to qualifying on all of the required critical security tasks for the performance of their related security duties. Specifically, the supervisors were signed off as qualified supervisors by the security training department and given a 90-day period to complete Element 05-A. However, during the 90-day period, the supervisors were assigned independent Field Operations Supervisor duties, to include contingency response coordination, requiring extensive knowledge of the protected and vital area alarm locations. (04014)

This is a Severity Level IV Violation (Supplement III).

3. The PSE&G Salem - Hope Creek Security Plan, Revision 7, dated June 1996, states, in part, in the Introduction Section, that the implementing documents of this plan are the Security Plan Procedures and Post Orders. Security Plan Procedure 8, Vehicle Access Control, Revision 8, dated February 28, 1996, requires, in part, in Section 10, Use of Crane Gate, that the Security Shift Supervisor/designee direct that the zone be crawl tested after the vehicle passes and prior to securing the patrol. This procedure further states, that the security force member (SFM) No. 1 shall remain posted at the gate until the zone passes the crawl test.

Contrary to the above, on June 5, 1996, a vehicle passed through the Crane Gate, and a crawl test was not conducted prior to SFM 1 being released from the post. (05014)

This is a Severity Level IV Violation (Supplement III).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each alleged violation: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved.

If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an Order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown. Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalties by letter addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a check, draft, money order, or electronic transfer payable to the Treasurer of the United States in the cumulative amount of the civil penalties, or may protest imposition of the civil penalties in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within the time specified, an order imposing the civil penalties will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalties, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violation(s) listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalties should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalties in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalties.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalties, the factors addressed in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing a civil penalties.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalties due that subsequently have been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalties, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, letter with payment of civil penalties, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: James Lieberman, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region I, and a copy to the NRC Senior Resident Inspector at the facility that is the subject of this Notice.

Because your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR. If redactions are required, a proprietary version containing brackets placed around the proprietary, privacy, and/or safeguards information should be submitted. In addition, a non-proprietary version with the information in the brackets redacted should be submitted to be placed in the PDR.

Dated at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
this 11th day of December 1996

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012